The Ulbrich Boys & Girls Club of Wallingford is in negotiations to lease space for a new branch at Hope Christian Church in North Haven.
“We're talking to (Hope Christian), we think it's going to happen, we just need to get a lease in place,” said Erik Scaranuzzo, chairman of a steering committee for the new branch. “The building's amazing, it's huge … it's got a huge parking lot, grass area, right near Montowese Elementary School.”
The church is located at 211 Montowese Ave., not far from the intersection with Route 17. The club would be leasing about 7,000 square feet in the church’s lower level, including the large fellowship hall, kitchen, bathrooms, about three classrooms and an office space. The space can accommodate up to 100 kids.
The Rev. James Detweiler said he’s very excited about the partnership.
“I’m 90, 95 percent sure we’re gonna get this done for the families of North Haven,” said Detweiler, Hope Christian pastor.
The steering committee’s main focus is finalizing a lease and planning fundraising events. The group estimates $150,000 is needed to run the programs each year.
The church is also hoping to attract corporate and individual sponsors.
North Haven’s Paul Mitchell The School has already made a commitment to donate a media center, which would be similar to the one the school donated to the Ulbrich Boys & Girls Club of Wallingford in September.
For now, the club is planning to offer after-school care, but plans to consider before-school care and a summer camp. This summer, North Haven residents are able to enroll in the Wallingford club’s camp.
“There is a need in the community and we're trying to fill it,” Scaranuzzo said. “We want to see kids have a good, constructive after-school program.”
The program will be open to students in kindergarten through eighth grade.
The Ulbrich Boys & Girls Club expressed interest in expanding into town in the fall. Club representatives met with First Selectman Michael Freda and Board of Education chairwoman Anita Anderson.
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